One of the best experiences a student could have is to study abroad. This is a great opportunity for every young adult to develop their independence and broaden their horizons while furthering their studies in some of the top universities in the world. And the pupils who are most likely willing to take advantage of this are non-English native students.
However, if you are an international student who wants to expand your knowledge outside your home country, then you should consider studying abroad in one of the well-known universities in any English-speaking country.
In order to help you prepare for this life-changing adventure, here are the five steps you should take to plan your education abroad with as much ease as possible.
Prepare your paperwork
If you want to have better chances of being admitted to one of the top universities in any English-speaking country, then you must compile all the necessary documentation. This is one of the most important steps in the studying abroad process because you are probably going to stay in your host country for a longer period of time. For that reason, it is advised that you prepare your paperwork ahead of time, and that should be translated in English, in order to avoid rushing at the last minute.
The most essential documents you will need to apply to any university include your personal citizenship documentation including a driver’s license, a birth certificate translation as well as a list of all medical examinations.
In addition, you will need to have a list of all your school transcripts, any certifications and proof of your English language skills.
Lastly, make sure your passport is valid and you have all visa documents granted by the embassy of the country you plan to further your studies in.
Choose the country for your abroad studies
As an international student, you are probably coming from a country with its own culture and a unique lifestyle. So, there is a great chance that you are longing to move and study in a country which offers various opportunities career-wise as well as a new way of living.
In most cases, students choose the United States as their go-to country because some of the world’s best universities are in fact located here.
However, besides choosing your study abroad destination based on your personal preference, you must also take into consideration other factors as well.
For example, you should consider going to a country where your desired major is best developed as well as valued after you graduate. Also, you must keep in mind the finances of tuition fees and living costs in that particular country.
Once you narrow down your criterion, you will most likely be going to make the right decision.
Figure out the finances
It is no surprise that budgeting is the least fun part of studying abroad. The reality is that no one wants to think about costs, credit cards and other payments especially when you are an international student embarking on a new adventure and wanting to explore your new environment.
However, it is crucial that you learn how to manage your money well since you will be handling all your finances on your own while living as an international student in a foreign country.
One of the first things you should focus on is to create a budget. This means figuring out how much money you will need for your monthly expenses as well as saving something extra for rainy days.
Another thing you should consider is opening a bank account in your host country. This can really come in handy if you get a job or if you find yourself in financial problems so your family can wire money to you.
Once you have been accepted into the program of your dreams, your next step is to find accommodation. Since you will be far away from home, it would be nice if you could find housing that will provide you with the same welcoming feeling as in your own country.
The good thing is that there are many study abroad accommodation types you can choose from.
For example, as an international student, one of the best ways to have a truly meaningful overseas experience is to opt for student dormitories. In fact, this is an excellent way to meet new local friends who will certainly make your stay easier and more enjoyable. Plus, you won’t have to worry about travel expenses as you will be most likely living within the university campus.
Another popular option among international students is to rent a private apartment. While this may be costly, you will have a greater opportunity of enjoying your liberty, privacy and independence.
Prepare yourself mentally
While most international students expect excitement when going abroad, they often overlook the fact that they may come across unexpected circumstances which they aren’t well prepared for. Some of these include having a hard time adjusting to the new culture and lifestyle or simply making acquaintances with local people.
Since these emotional hurdles can’t be entirely avoided, it is recommended that you prepare yourself mentally for this life-changing adventure. In fact, before you say your goodbyes to your loved ones and get on the plane, you should do several things to make your stay in your new country more enjoyable.
For example, if you know other foreign students who have studied abroad, it is advised that you talk to them to hear about their experiences and ask any questions. You should request as much information as possible in order to have an idea of what to expect once you step foot into your host country.
Whether you are a freshman in college or looking to get a Ph.D. in some of the world’s best universities, then studying abroad is one of the best ways to go about it. This can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity which can help you get on a higher career level as well as help you grow as a person.
Since the process of studying abroad can be overwhelming at times, you should refer back to this checklist and use it as your guide to prepare for your studies and gain the best possible overseas experiences as an international student.